The Spike

Best summer event dress EVER


I have no summer engagements coming up because Giles and I are never invited anywhere or do anything. Not to weddings or parties or anything. BUT, if I did have a summer party coming up and I needed something to wear, I would re-visit Rixo, who have got some absolutely terrific stuff at the moment.

This Katie dress is just about perfect. Amazing shape and fit, perfect colour, perfect pattern, sleeves. Alas, SOLD OUT online at Rixo. SAD FACE FOREVER.

But!!! Thalia, my new best friend at Rixo, (not sure she is aware of this), tells me that they expect this dress – (in blue, which will be just as nice) – to be available exclusive to Net a Porter by the end of March or thereabouts. No-one can be more accurate than that as the dresses go straight from the warehouse to Net.

Now, look, don’t freak out… but this dress is £265. I guarantee, though, that it’s a gem – it will see you all the way through this year and out the other side until September or October. And there is clearly, from my investigations, a pretty limited run of these dresses, so you can get it secure that not everyone else will have one, too.

So what now? You can either sit refreshing the Rixo home page on Net from now until April or simply sign up to The Spike mail-out and I will tell you when it drops.

Pudding saviour

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Meet your new store cupboard pudding hero! If you have dinner parties that is. I don’t think anyone is having dinner parties anymore, are they? Or no, whoops, sorry – they’re not dinner “parties” anyway – they are “dinners”. “We’re having a dinner”; “I’ve got a dinner”. Saying dinner party is a bit like saying “nightclub” or “Walkman” or “Fax me”.

So let me start again: if  you ever have dinners at home with friends but, like me, totally forget about pudding because what an arse and who really ever wants all that stress on top of everything else and won’t the boys just leave it and get up and smoke in the garden? But then at the last minute you think fuck I can’t have no pudding, then do this.

You will need to have pre-purchased:

A jar of Opie kirsch cherries (one jar will serve 4-6 people)

A tub of good vanilla ice cream

Something crunchy to bash up and sprinkle over (use your imagination. Not a champagne glass. Optional)


1 Spoon some vanilla ice cream into a little glass

2 Spoon over 3-4 little kirsch-soaked cherries over the top with some juice

3 Sprinkle over your non-lethal topping and serve

This is particularly good, by the way, as a kosher pudding, though I realise this is a very niche point. There is a non-dairy ice cream called Swedish Glace, which will verily bring tears of nostalgia to the eyes of any kosher Jew reading thing, which works very well with this

How about you – what are your store cupboard pudding heroes?

The triangle of light

This pic is from Good Housekeeping. Even Good Housekeeping is more up to date than I am

I was reading the other day in a newspaper an interview with big make-up lady Trish McEvoy and she was talking about a “triangle of light” which is an inverted triangle that you draw with your concealer under your eye to hide dark circles and generally brighten the area. I tried it and it works far better than drawing a great semicircle directly under the eye. I don’t know why I haven’t heard of this before! I consider myself to be quite good at putting on make-up! Christ.

You probably all bloody know about it and have been doing it for years and meet up in cafes going “If only Esther knew about the triangle of light trick she wouldn’t look so awful.”



I adore these colourful Polish paper chandelier-thingies, called Pajaki. At the moment if you want to buy one, you can get DIY kits on Etsy – and though I love them I will never in a million years actually sit down and, like, freaking make one.


It will however, I guarantee, only be a matter of time before some outlets e.g. Heals, Anthropolgie or NOTHS start selling them and then they will be absolutely everywhere, like the hand-knotted Berber rug.

You heard it here first.



Sam isn’t well – intermittent fever, strange blotchy face rash, swollen tonsils, slushy tummy. Plus a really grim symptom, which is that he wakes up in the middle of the night e.g. at 3am seemingly for no reason (not in pain etc) and then doesn’t go back to sleep. At all.

So right at this very moment when I ought to be Haw Hawing around the brand new flagship Trotters shop in High Street Kensington, and perhaps afterwards having a gossipy lunch with some lovely girl from the Daily Mail, I am cleaning up diarrhoea off the bathroom floor from where Sam did a fart and then kept going.

But I’ve got Trotters on the mind now and it’s worth reminding you that they do these really posh, cute and delightful little summer plimsolls called Hampton Canvas for kids. If you are into that kind of thing you can buy yourself a matching pair – they have a selection of matching adults and kids shoes called Mummy & Me *dies*. (Or just buy yourself some and let the kids go barefoot.)

These will be very low in stock by mid-June so, you know, don’t dawdle.


Plumo SS17

I harbour a faint grudge against Plumo and I can’t remember why – but I have magnanimously decided to put it all to one side on receiving the SS17 catalogue, which is really good.

They have branched out into interiors and there is some stunning, if slightly laughably rustic stuff (examples below). Anyway it’s all worth a look.

My favourites:

This Leo dress


This palm tree print dress. I really am in love with this. It seems strangely cheap at £89 but when you look it is made from a polyester/rayon mix, which is inexpensive. That all sounds very wartime, but in fact I very much like those two fabrics for summer dresses as they move and sit nicely and do not ride up bare legs or flap up alarmingly in a breeze like some stiffer cottons around at the moment. However, they cannot be worn with nylon tights ever or the resulting static electricity may blow us all off the face of the planet.


Small fact: the yellow dress Emma Stone wears in the poster for La La Land is a polyester/rayon mix, which she requested because it had such nice movement when she danced.

These “Eddie” earrings are fantastic, too.


I absolutely adore this whale butterdish, at £18.50.


This palm leaf wallhanging thingy really made me laugh, but respect – it’s a ballsy and mad thing to sell.


This dish is absurdly cool:



New hair hero

About £13 for 50ml

For fans of air-drying their hair but a bit tired of the hint of crispiness of all air-dry mousses or salt sprays: rejoice!

This snappily-named Aura Botanica dry oil mist spray from Keratase does an amazing job of adding texture to hair with no drying or crispiness. Your hair is both manageable and shiny. And it smells nice!

I formerly have prayed at the altar of another Keratase product, Oleo-Relax, which makes your hair beautiful but also lays it very precisely flat and doesn’t add texture, so if you have fine or slippery hair it’s not a totally perfect product.

I have in the past put the Oleo-Relax on some parts of my hair, blow-dried and then applied an air-dry product to the rest of it and allowed to dry naturally. But this will do both jobs in one, it’s terrific.

Toolally earrings

I really, really love these mad plastic earrings that I found in John Lewis by a British brand called Toolally. Everything seems to be £45 – I got some art deco ones but may have to go back for some kind of crazy orange-and-pink orb thingies.

They are to be worn as I have suggested previously on this blog with a bun or a ponytail and otherwise quite plain clothes. Get some before every motherfucker on the school run has a pair.

The Spike has been reading…



I loved this book. It was gripping without really anything especially happening. I want to say that it was very atmospheric, but my husband tells me I use that word too much. (It is, though, it is really atmospheric.)

Push on through the initial slightly slow first chapter. If you still don’t like it after Chapter 3 you have my permission to move on to something else.

It also has, hands-down, the most delicious-sounding feast in a book I’ve ever read.

“…. the boy left a tray of beer upon the sideboard. This was followed by a platter of cheese and cold beef marbled with yellow fat, and a plaited white loaf, and a dish of pale butter sprinkled with salt, and lastly a cake studded with cherries and giving off the scent of brandy…”

There is genuinely no moment when I wouldn’t be really pleased to sit down to eat all that.

How about you: read any good books lately?

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